Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently recognized Matt Jorgensen, of Des Moines, Iowa, and Bob Landis, of Hollywood, South Carolina, as Highway Angels for assisting a man involved in a serious accident.

Jorgensen and Landis were traveling north on I-55 in Arkansas at around midnight when they came upon an accident that had just occurred. In fact, Jorgensen estimates had he passed by just 10 seconds earlier, he would have been hit by the car veering off the road.

“I was looking up ahead of me,” said Jorgensen, who was driving at the time, “and saw dust in the oncoming traffic headlights. As I got closer, I saw all kinds of debris on the road and then I caught a headlight on the right in the ditch below.”

Realizing that traffic was light and he would be the first person on the scene, Jorgensen didn’t hesitate to stop. As Jorgensen secured the rig and reported the accident on his CV, Landis, a former EMT, ran through the darkness in the direction of the headlights. The vehicle had flipped over several times and landed on all four wheels. The windshield had popped out and was lying on the road. Personal belongings were strewn everywhere, yet the driver remained in the vehicle. Landis began talking to the young man while Jorgensen hurried over with a flashlight and fire extinguisher.

” He was lucky he was wearing a seat belt,” Jorgensen said, “because he would have been ejected from that vehicle. Everything was all over the place: his clothes, pictures…”

Not knowing the extent of the driver’s injuries, Landis attempted to keep the young man still. He checked the man for trauma and inspected the cut on his head. Then he and Jorgensen talked with the man to keep him from going into shock. “He knew who the president was, so we figured he was coherent,” Joregensen said chuckling. “But the guy was shaken up and cold. Bob told him not to move his neck, but he wasn’t listening.”

The two truckers covered the man with a jacket, kept him awake, and tried to keep him from moving too much as they waited for the paramedics to arrive. In the meantime, other truckers had pulled over and were helping to move traffic and get debris out of the road.

When asked why he had stopped to assist the driver, said Jorgensen, “It happened right in front of me. I had to stop.”

Jorgensen and Landis received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for their efforts at the scene of the accident. Annett Holdings, Inc., also received a certificate for acknowledging these two Highway Angels in their midst.

“We continue to be amazed by the number of professional truckers who go out of their way to help a stranger and many times put their lives at risk as well,” said Nancy O’Liddy, director of public affairs and marketing for TCA. “TCA is proud and delighted to offer the kind of program that gives these drivers the recognition and support they deserve while at the same time creates a greater public awareness and appreciation for the many outstanding drivers in this industry.”

Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.